Mike Kasdan takes a look the iconic movie bad guys we love to laugh at, from Shooter McGavin to Principal Rooney to Mr. Pink.
Earlier this year, I wrote a short article for The Good Men Project entitled, On Male Friendships: The Top Eight On-Screen Wingmen, Sidekicks, and Partners in Crime. The piece was intended to explore male friendship, but through the pop-culture lens of the most well known, endearing, and hilarious wingmen, sidekicks and partners in crime ever to grace the silver screen and television:
What is it that we look for in a friendship? What qualities do we value? How do we interact with each other?
What better way to examine these questions then to look to Hollywood?!
As they say, art imitates life. Our iconic movies and television shows reflect well-worn societal models of male friendships and of what these friendships should or do look like. And they model the well-known tropes of male friendships and relationships: wingmen, sidekicks, and partners in crime.
It was also, of course, an excuse to watch movie clips of iconic movie characters and to delight in the sheer genius of Wayne’s World, The Office, The Big Lebowski, Swingers, Top Gun, and many more.
This piece is dedicated to the bad guys, the men who stand in the way of our happiness.
Some abuse positions of power. Some want what we have. Many are just plain mean. Some are deviously unscrupulous and manipulative. Some are tough guys and bullies. Some have no moral compass. Often they are immature. Some are brilliant; but many are not the sharpest tools in the proverbial shed.
We exaggerate these ‘bad guy’ qualities in the movie versions. We make caricatures from these qualities.
And then we cheer and laugh as they are beaten and frustrated.
And it feels good.
1. Shooter McGavin (Happy Gilmore)
2. Chet (Real Genius)
3. Jules (Pulp Fiction)
4. Chazz (Wedding Crashers)
5. Mr. Hand (Fast Times at Ridgemont High)
6. Principal Richard Vernon (Breakfast Club)
7. Tommy Devito (Goodfellas)
8. Bobby Pellitt (Horrible Bosses)
9. Doug Neidermeyer (Animal House)
10. Dr. Evil (Austin Powers)
11. Captain Harris (Police Academy)
12. Principal Ed Rooney (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off)
For Nos. 13-24, click here.
Photo Credit: YouTube/Austin Powers Screen Capture
A big thanks to my crowdsourcing team, including Joanna Schroeder, James Stafford, Alan Mott, Tom Burns, Matthew Herman, Ambra Kervellec, Ross Felix, Phyllis Fung, Adam Kestin, Marty Josephson, and Andrew Mast.